Has the stress of finals week got you feeling like a hound dog, crying all the time? Project Strive/TRiO and the Residence Life Association (RLA) are here to help. Paws-a-tively Stress Free Pet Therapy will be held Tuesday, May 2, Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4, from 1-4 pm in the Library Fishbowl (upper level of the library). The event is open to everyone who is feeling the strain of Finals Week. Students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to stop in to the fishbowl to meet and pet some dogs.
This event was has been in the works for some time. Residence Directors consistently receive suggestions for pet therapy in their evaluations of other RLA events. Last semester, Project Strive did a trial, with one cat and three dogs. This December program was open just for Project Strive students. Since it was a new program with some unpredictable variables, Project Strive and RLA thought it was important to do a small trial to make sure everything went smoothly. About 30 students attended the program last year, when it was held in the Project Strive office in the library basement. The program was well-received by everyone except for the cat, who was a little overwhelmed by strangers petting her. As a result, this year will only feature dogs.
Jen Schaer, Director of Project Strive/TRiO, says that there will be six-eight dogs participating in Paws-a-tively Stress Free Pet Therapy. The dogs will work in shifts, with three-four dogs available each hour. The owners will be with the dogs the entire time, and rest assured, none of the dogs participating have ever eaten someone’s homework. Just outside of the fishbowl, RLA and Project Strive will provide fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses. RLA and Project Strive are anticipating that this will be a well-attended event, and they are open to adding more dogs to the mix. If you have a dog that has the right temperament for pet therapy, and you want to volunteer to let stressed students, staff, and faculty pet him for an hour or so, you can contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-432-6069.